British Values

In June 2014, David Cameron emphasised the important role that British values can play in education. Further, how well a school promotes such values is an aspect of both Ofsted’s inspection process and the Catholic School Inspection Framework.

Our school reflects British Values in all that we do. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our community and the wider world.

Our school meets the requirements of the Education Act 2002 (Section 78) by promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) of all our pupils. Through SMSC provision and the values of Christ through the Gospels we actively promote British Values. The Government defines British Values as; democracy, the rule of law; individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Pope John-Paul II in his Angelus address in 2004 stated that Gospel Values “are a guarantee of peace and collaboration among all citizens in the shared commitment to serving the common good”.

As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views. This is in line with our Home School Agreement and Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy (including Prevent).


Below are just a few examples of how we promote British values. The first section is a general overview; the others are specific expectations set out by Ofsted.


Promoting British Values


Value: Democracy

How we promote it


Gospel values: Truth and justice; service and sacrifice; faithfulness and integrity.


School values: Love..................

We teach how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process. This process is frequently used in classes to support decision making, e.g. voting for Pupil Parliament members.

We have a Pupil Parliament (made up of mulitple cabinets such as the Eco Cabinet and Sports Cabinet), Head Boy and Head Girl, Mini Missionaries and Play Leaders . Through the work of the Pupil Parliament, the views of all children are represented and decisions are made that affect the children e.g. which charities to support and changes to school life such as reviewing the mission statement, house point system and relationships and behaviour policy.

We encourage volunteerism and community work in and out of school. This includes junior librarians and play leaders. As part of our Pupil Parliament, the Eco Cabinet organises regular litter picks in school and the community.

Democracy is taught explicitly through PHSE lessons, circle times and assemblies/worship.



How we promote it

The Rule of Law


Gospel values: Truth and justice; service and sacrifice; forgiveness and mercy.


School values: E

We teach pupils that living under the rule of law in Britain protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety e.g. Children create the rules for their class charter at the beginning of every year.

We have high expectations about pupil conduct and this is reflected in our relationships and behaviour policy. We have a team point system in place which  rewards pupils for exhibiting responsible actions and respectful behaviour. During our weekly 'Celebration Worship', two children from each class are chosen to receive 'Learner of the Week' and 'Value of the Week' certificates and two children in school receive Headteacher awards.

As part of our RE and collective Worship, children become familiar with the Bible and it's teachings and are given the opportunity to reflect on and learn from to promote their moral development.

Road safety and bikeability are taught as part of our curriculum.

Children have responsibilities within school, such as our play leaders with responsibility for ensuring playtime rules are followed and promoting turn-taking etc.

Through our school’s values, our RE curriculum, collective worship and PHSE programme, children are taught how to earn trust and respect and are supported to develop a strong sense of morality; knowing right from wrong and doing the right thing / making good choices even when it is difficult.

We have clear school rules and expectations for behaviour and attendance. Good attendance is celebrated each week through an attendance raffle and pupils are awarded wristbands for 100% attendance in a half-term and certificates for 100% for a full term.


Value: Individual liberty

How we promote it



Gospel values: Dignity and compassion; humility and gentleness; forgiveness and mercy; tolerance and peace; service and sacrifice; truth and justice.


School values: Honesty, humility, courage, freedom, teamwork, perseverance, determination, curiosity, growth, spirituality.

Through our school ethos, collective worship, RE teaching and PHSE programme, children are taught about personal responsibility, choices, ambition and aspiration. They are encouraged to take opportunities to follow their interests in art, music, sport and a range of extra-curricular clubs. Individual choices are respected.

Children are taught how to keep themselves safe, including on-line. This is done through computing lessons, collective worship and outside organisations as well as through the PHSE curriculum.

We have high levels of pastoral support from our parish priest and Children and Family Wellbeing service. Our playleaders take care of the children throughout playtimes.

We do not tolerate bullying of any kind – there is a clear anti- bullying policy throughout the school which the children know and understand.

Pupils know who to speak to if they are worried or concerned about themselves or others. We always encourage pupils to talk to a trusted adult and we also have 'ask-it-baskets' in each class.


Value: Mutual respect

How we promote it



Gospel values: Integrity, dignity and compassion; purity and holiness; humility and gentleness; truth and justice; forgiveness and mercy; tolerance and peace, service and sacrifice.


School values: Inclusion, equality, tolerance, communication, courage, appreciation, teamwork, understanding, perseverance, determination, loyalty, acceptance, faith, confidence, determination, family, spirituality, achievement, community, charity.

Through our curriculum, learning behaviours, philosophy, PE and whole school ethos, children are taught to understand the importance of identifying and combating discrimination.

We have high expectations about pupil conduct and this is reflected in our Relationships and Behaviour Policy and Equalities Policy.

Children are taught to respect each other, to be co-operative and collaborative and to look for similarities while being understanding of differences.

All inclusion support / provision is appropriate, caring and respectful for adults and children.

Mutual respect is taught through our school mission statement 'Let the Love of Christ show in all that we do'.


Value: Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs

How we promote it


Gospel values: Faithfulness and integrity; dignity and compassion; humility and gentleness; truth and justice; forgiveness and mercy; purity and holiness; tolerance and peace.

School values: Inclusion, equality, appreciation, tolerance, acceptance, teamwork, courage, honesty, understanding, determination, loyalty, faith, family, community, trust.

We teach children that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected by law.

We have high expectations about pupil conduct and this is reflected in our positive behaviour policy and equality policy.

Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs is promoted through our Catholic RE Syllabus. Children learn about different religions, their beliefs, places of worship and festivals.

This is supplemented by collective worship which marks and celebrates significant religious festivals such as Eid and Chinese New Year.

Visits are made by local religious leaders such as Friars from different orders. We welcome visitors who represent other faiths.


Being part of Britain

As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Sacred Heart School. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn term or our annual Christmas Nativity, and what could be more British than a trip to a pantomime around Christmas time! We also value and celebrate national events, a recent example being the Queens Jubilee sadly followed by the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Further, children learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Two specific examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:

Geographically: Our curriculum, Class, Key Stage and whole school topic ensures that children have a better understanding of what Britain is, learning more about:

  • its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains
  • how ‘Great Britain’ differs from ‘England’ and ‘the United Kingdom’
  • where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world

Historically: Through our History curriculum, the children 'time travel' to significant moments in British history where they  learn about an aspect of life and how this has developed and changed over time such as  inventions and discoveries, houses, or medicine.


Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Sacred Heart. Democracy is central to how we operate.

An obvious example is our Pupil Parliament. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school; The Pupil Parliament are actively involved in recruitment and in providing teachers with feedback and pupil voice.

Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:

  • children agree their Class Charter and the rights associated with these; all children contribute to the drawing up of the charter
  • Pupil Questionnaires which provide the school leadership with analysis of how the children feel about school
  • Pupils respond to teachers marking throughout the school
  • children nominate various charities, then within their own class, select two to go forward to the Pupil Parliament, who then vote to decide two school charities which we support over the course of two years

Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.

Rules and laws

The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Charter, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.

Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. These values are reinforced in different ways:

  • visits from authorities such as the police and fire service
  • during other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example 

Individual liberty

Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:

  • choices about what learning challenge or activity
  • choices about how they record their learning
  • choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities

Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHCE lessons.

Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.

Specific examples of how we at Sacred Heart enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs are:

  • through Religious Education,  and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures – in English through fiction and in Art by considering culture from other parts of the world, for example
  • enjoying a depth of study, where sometimes we will celebrate and enjoy learning about the differences in countries and cultures around the word (whilst at other times we might consider groups or individuals who might be vulnerable in some way, such as those with mental health issues)

Sadly, no school can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At Sacred Heart, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our school policies.